Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Doula in Limbo

This is officially my hundredth post. I feel like I should be writing about something incredibly significant and life-altering, but I guess I might have covered that on my 99th post. :) Anyway, I am writing because I feel like I am in a state of doula limbo right now. I completed my certification in January, but have not attended a birth since December. I did have opportunities, but while finishing my master's degree, I could not accept any clients. Now I am finished, and the feeling of being in between my calling is weighing on me. I have tossed around various ideas such as becoming a childbirth educator, but I am unable to afford the training right now.

I had previously joined a Richmond Yahoo doula group in order to network, and read about current issues in birth. The group has left me fairly disheartened. They started charging an annual fee to belong to the group. While the amount is not much, it is the principle that bothers me. The main point of the fees is so women who need or want a doula for their birth, but can not afford one, will be compensated through a joint doula fund. I really find this ridiculous. I have actually never charged for my doula services. At first it was because I didn't feel comfortable charging without a lot of experience, but then it turned into the fact that I could not refuse a client my services if they wanted a doula but did not have the money. I just can't understand why other local doulas couldn't offer a free birth every now and then to also support women in the area in lieu of a fee? I was approached by someone who is looking for doulas to do volunteer births. This organization provides services to women who would otherwise be alone for their birth. I really feel like this is more of the path I must walk. The informational meeting was pushed back until October, so hopefully the meeting will shed some extra light.

My other dilemma is with my family's birth stories. I have been working on them for a couple years now, and finally got back into making final changes, and doing some of the suggestions made by Penny Simkin. The purpose of the stories is to provide each contributing woman a copy of our family's stories for preservation. The only issue I have is whether to leave the project as that..a family birth memoir or also pursue other suggestions such as submitting them to a mother's magazine. I am still just as interested and intrigued in birth and my work as a doula, but I am facing some confusion as where to take it. I know I only have a few readers, but any suggestions or guidance would be appreciated.

1 comment:

patience said...

Doula politics in Richmond is so tricky so I can definitely see your problem. I think if women in need are calling you should follow the loudest voice coming from your sounds like you need to stay closely connected to birth whatever you decide...hoping peace shows you the way...p